Unfinished Rocks - 48x38
Last week we learned what a TIA is... Joel had a minor stroke and we never suspected he was at risk. This makes you focus on priorities in a big way! I'm still in the studio most mornings but the rest of the day I think about our future and our options. The military taught us to plan ahead... literally... when the B-52's left periodically for SE Asia, wives were instructed to know who to call and what your next steps would be should you be told that your husband would not be returning. And that's what we've always done, always considering our future options. My mother said I had a "delayed reaction" to bad news, I'm good in a crisis but fall apart or go into a depression after the fact. She was right and I hope I can always count on this trait.
So this week we've dealt with a number of things... most irritating is a monitor Joel wears for a month which only malfunctions after hours when the help number is not available. Beeping incessantly and causing stressed cursing... twice it's been put in the garage for 'time out' so we could get some sleep! It helps to have somewhere to direct our anger and frustration. I haven't thrown the damn monitor against the wall yet but have come close. (Have since learned of an 'off' button... who knew?)
Focusing... have been decluttering files, drawers, closets... was doing this in a casual manner way before the TIA incident since it's really about downsizing. The plan has long been to sell the main house and move back to the lake house (only an hour away) once the local g-chicks are driving and we aren't needed for carpool, etc. So that would give us three or so years to get this house ready to sell and the smaller house ready to receive us. I'm feeling a bit more urgent about at least streamlining possessions and paperwork that have taken years/decades to accumulate. Also looking forward to major renovations at the older, smaller lake house to make it more 'home' and less 'cabin'. My new hobby is measuring furniture and collecting kitchen ideas suitable for someone who prefers to stay out of it.
Reality checks continue... what about my career? Well, must admit, in spite of some great sales and positive show results this past year, the overall picture is not encouraging. If ten years younger I would have jumped on the self promotion wagon and would be sending out e-newsletters and brag packs to new galleries with gusto... but after awhile, new beginnings aren't so exciting, I just want to paint without the pressure. Creative exploration rather than simply producing more work. My mind spins with new ideas... some I get around to and some I don't.
Joel is, thankfully, doing just fine... the small stroke was a warning and we are heeding it. He has returned to a regular weight routine at the Y and when the electrodes come off his chest, he'll be back in the water swimming laps. I have a strong suspicion that when he stopped his regular swimming routine (he had a few distracting years with accidents, etc) his body didn't know quite what to do about it... so now we know... got to keep the blood flowing with exercise! Good advice for all of us!